There aren’t a lot of companies that sell a million of something they made by hand, and keep track of it.
Tastease, the doughnut store with a cult-like following in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood, just reached that milestone — 1 million of those mini doughnuts, decorated by Tony Mendes, who owns the shop with his wife, Susan.
Even the store is mini, just 400 square feet on New Park Avenue.
Six months ago, it looked like the 8-year-old shop wouldn’t still be here, as the couple said they were closing after a dispute with the city. The code requires sit-down restaurants to have a bathroom, and with two tables and plastic chairs, Tastease fell under that rule.
The city offered an exception but the couple still said they would close, until customers persuaded them to stay open. Tony Mendes said they would look for a buyer.
To celebrate the million milestone, Tastease is giving away a free cup of coffee and a doughnut next Friday, Nov. 16 from 7 a.m. to noon.
Two caveats: Even with more than double the usual amount on hand, the doughnuts won’t last until noon, so you’d better stop in before work; and good luck making do with just the one doughnut — it won’t happen.
As for selling, Mendes said Friday, “We are staying.” Was that because they decided they wanted to stay, or because they couldn’t find a buyer? “A little of both,” he said.